Canada and Nova Scotia invest in rural public transportation infrastructure in Antigonish County
Antigonish, Nova Scotia, February 21, 2023 — Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton–Canso, the Honourable Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Antigonish, and Anita Stewart, Chairperson of the Antigonish Community Transit Society (ACTS), announced a combined investment of more than $1.22 million to support two rural public transit projects in Antigonish County.
This investment will support the purchase of two hybrid vans as well as an electric bus and supporting charging infrastructure to serve those in the town and county of Antigonish, including Paq’tnkek First Nation. It will also fund the construction of two bus shelters. The new vehicles and supporting infrastructure will enhance the existing fixed-route transit system and the bookable door-to-door transit service, which will provide residents—particularly seniors, students and individuals with disabilities—with transportation options that will enable them to access educational opportunities, go to work, attend medical appointments and take part in other activities. ACTS is also receiving funds to conduct a complete review of the fixed-bus route and further improve its service.
People living in rural and Indigenous communities often depend on private vehicles for transportation due to a lack of access to transit options. The investments in rural public transportation announced today will make accessible and affordable transportation available to more people in Antigonish County.
By investing in infrastructure, the Government of Canada is growing our country’s economy, increasing the resiliency of our communities, and improving the lives of Canadians.
“Public transit options should be available to all Canadians, no matter where they live. Expanding the capacity of the Antigonish Community Transit Society to support our neighbours means that residents are not left isolated from essential services and can travel with ease within their community. The Government of Canada is committed to collaborating with other levels of government on infrastructure projects to improve communities.”
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
“Today’s announcement to expand and improve public transportation is wonderful news for the community. These changes mean that more people in the town and county of Antigonish, including Paq’tnkek First Nation, will have accessible and affordable transportation options. By investing in infrastructure, the Government of Canada is helping to build more inclusive and resilient communities.”
Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton–Canso
“Mobility within our community is essential. We all need to get to work, to school, to medical appointments and to see our friends and family. The Antigonish Community Transit Society does an exceptional job of meeting this need. Through this investment, we are working together to help more people do the things they need to do now while preparing for even more options down the road.”
The Honourable Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Antigonish
“Antigonish Community Transit is thrilled and extremely grateful to receive support and this generous funding contribution from the federal and provincial governments. This funding will allow the Antigonish Community Transit Society to continue to serve Antigonish residents with a planned expansion of our fleet, striving to become environmentally friendly and green, upgrade our current services, continue to grow and to become more accessible allowing us to assist in promoting healthy engagement in our community. Affordable and accessible transportation has historically been a barrier for many individuals seeking access to healthcare, food, social connection, and other vital services in rural and urban areas. This funding will assist ACTS to continue to address these barriers, providing our ridership with accessible and equitable transportation.”
Anita Stewart, Chairperson of the Antigonish Community Transit Society
The Government of Canada is investing $984,388 for these two projects. The Government of Nova Scotia is contributing $241,722, and the Antigonish Community Transit Society is contributing $2,500.
The project is contingent on the signing of a contribution agreement.
The Government of Canada’s funding comes from the Rural Transit Solutions Fund.
The Rural Transit Solutions Fund, which is part of the Permanent Public Transit Program, will provide $250 million over 5 years to help Canadians living in rural and remote areas get around their communities more easily. It supports the development of rural transit solutions, including new transit service models that could be replicated or scaled up.
One in five Canadians live in rural communities. Rural communities in Canada account for nearly 30% of the nation’s gross domestic product.
In February 2021, the Prime Minister announced nearly $15 billion in available funding for new public transit infrastructure projects over the next eight years, with a permanent $3 billion annually to begin in 2026-27.
The Rural Transit Solutions Fund complements Canada’s strengthened climate plan: A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy. The plan commits the federal government to provide permanent federal funding for public transit in support of making clean and affordable transportation available in every community.
Infrastructure Canada helps address complex challenges that Canadians face every day—ranging from the rapid growth of our cities to climate change and environmental threats to our water and land.
The funding announced today builds on the Government of Canada's work through the Atlantic Growth Strategy to create well-paying middle-class jobs, strengthen local economies, and build inclusive communities.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
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Madonna van Vonderen
Antigonish Community Transit Society
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